Here at PCPPP we’re not afraid to discuss controversial and polarizing issues that affect Sesame Street. For example, awhile back we did an expose on whether or notSnuffleupagus should be seen or not and to be honest with you, we really blew the lid off of that one. This time around it has to do with Cookie Monster and the eating habits he promotes. A few years ago there were rumors going around that in hopes of promoting a healthier lifestyle, the Sesame Street team was going to change Cookie Monster to Veggie Monster or Broccoli Monster and maybe make him green too? I don’t know. But according to Muppet Wikia (a daily read for me) this was all just rumors and nonsense.
But should they have? Take it away Pat!
Pat: Nah, I don’t think so. That would have been one of those cheap ploys that kids can see through so easily, like when Schoolhouse Rocks! tried to convince me that eating a bowl of cottage cheese with a pineapple ring and banana was just as good as eating a bowl of ice cream with sugar crap on top of it. And I knew, in all of my seven years of wisdom, that it doesn’t matter how many maraschino cherries you put on top of it, that “Saturday” was a bullshit version of my “Sundae”. I was old enough to roll my eyes at the cheap attempt at a pun, too!
No...I say, keep Cookie Monster, but introduce a NEW character to challenge him. Something like the “Soy Goy”, a vegetarian non-Jew who enjoys carob snacks and sesame sticks the way Cookie Monster enjoys his cookies. Maybe the Soy Goy could move in next to Cookie Monster, so that not only does he have to deal with his dietary habits being challenged, but he also has to confront the hard realities of urban gentrification and ethnic stratification.
Am I doing that thing again where I try to sneak in my social studies teacher habits? Sorry.
Christian: I see. Yes, I guess adding a new bizarro-Cookie Monster character would be a good alternative. Maybe they could fight each other with celery or something.
But what if it was something a little worse for you than just cookies. Let’s say instead of Cookie Monster it was Fried Food Fiend. Do you still think they should keep him around?
Fried Food Fiend?
Man these muppets appear so life like
sometimes, they look kind of eerie.
Pat: No, I think if there was a fight, the Soy Goy might use a celery stalk, but Cookie Monster would definitely wield a roll of that Pillsbury™ pre-made cookie dough. And he would win.
Fried Food Fiend, eh? Good idea! Do you mean INSTEAD of Cookie, or in ADDITION? I could picture a storyline where Cookie hangs out with the Fiend just long enough to get kinda’ skeeved out at how disgusting his dietary habits are, and then he is swayed by the power of his observational empiricism and becomes a raw foods junkie, downing nothing but freshly pressed juices. And then he would change colors as the natural pigments from all of the fruits and veggies change the very nature of his skin cells.
Is that kinda’ how you saw it play out?
Christian: No. I meant instead of Cookie Monster. Since cookies aren’t the worst thing in the world for you, I understand your opinion that there’s no need to get rid of him. But if originally he had been Fried Food Fiend instead of Cookie Monster, then would you think that maybe he should get the ax?
What if he was originally Nicotine Monster? A chain smoking yellowish brown muppet that had a very throaty voice? Should Nicotine Monster get the ax?
If not, then what about Meth Monster? Basically I’m trying to figure out at what point would you say that the show should get rid of the poor-role-model-themed muppet. Do I have to take it all the way to something like Vehicular Manslaughter Monster?
Pat: STOP! You’re making me think about things that would make the people at the Children’s Television Workshop mean-spirited, manipulative, horrible people, and I simply WON’T HAVE IT! Those people are not capable of such baseness. Do not kill my heroes, Christian.
I should have told you when we started this blog that I’m not a very critical thinker. None of that “outside the box” stuff for me, nosirree! Sorry. I understand if you want to break up now.
Christian: You do know that in the original season of Sesame Street, Oscar the Grouch was an Opium dealer? The street was originally named Poppy Street because of all the underground Opium dens it housed. They later changed the name but wanted to keep with the bagel flavor theme.
You also know that the Children’s Television Workshop were Nazi sympathizers, right? I’m not talking about during the 30’s and 40’s. I’m talking during the 70’s and 80’s and up to the present.*
Anyways, so which is it? Nicotine Monster or Vehicular Manslaughter Monster? Where’s the line where the muppet should get the ax?
Pat: I don’t know. Now that you’ve got me thinking about it, I would LOVE to see an alternative version of Sesame Street, one that would air on pay-cable channels late at night where only us old folks, and lots of Red Bull-ed up teenagers, could see it.
And the cast would include all of the muppet characters your sick mind dreamed up, and the humans would include at least one meth-head, a prostitute (male, female...doesn’t matter), a scary old grandma lady with a cigarette always in hand, and breath that smells of cheap whiskey THROUGH your TV screen, and one evangelical minister.
Christian: I don’t know. I really don’t think I want to see muppets having sex.
Pat: That’s kinda’ taking it too far, Christian, ‘cause didn’t they use to use (still use?) Muppet-like puppets to help kids acknowledge and deal with sexual abuse? That’s just kinda’ icky, man.
Maybe this is a good time to turn our blog towards raising consciousness and publicity around a pressing social issue. I was thinking global warming, because, y’know, it’s timely and all. What do you say?
Christian: Sounds good. We can use a muppet as our mascot. Maybe this little guy:
We can call him Global Warming Goon or Dioxide Monster. Or maybe just Keith.
* The authenticity of these facts may or may not hold factuality.